Ruefrex’s Thomas Paul Burgess Announces “Wild Colonial Boys: A Belfast Punk Story”

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Emerging from the Belfast street-gang culture of the late-1970s, popular Northern Irish punk rock band Ruefrex enjoyed a turbulent, decade-long career. They played for millions on CNN and Channel 4, toured with The Pogues and recorded the controversial The Wild Colonial Boy, which attacked American donations to Northern Irish terrorist organisations. Throughout it all, founder member, songwriter and spokesperson Thomas Paul Burgess ensured the band remained faithful to their Protestant, working-class origins.

Wild Colonial Boys

This candid memoir from Burgess takes us on a journey from the streets of Belfast to encounters with U2, Shane MacGowan, The Cure, The Fall and Seamus Heaney. From strife-torn 1970s Belfast to bohemian London,Wild Colonial Boys tells the story of ‘the greatest punk band who never made it’, who refused to give up and stayed true to their punk roots. It’s also an insider’s guide to music acts, clubs and record labels during the period, a discussion of class and socio-economic circumstance, as well as a look at how punk music can bridge divides, be they North/South or Republican/Unionist. Wild Colonial Boys will be published in January 2024 via Manchester University Press and is now available for pre-order from Bookshop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.